Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Beginning for a New Year

Well, Christmas has finally come and gone. The presents were opened, the feasts enjoyed. And now a the world prepares to usher out one year and welcome in a brand spankin' new one.

With this comes the idea of new beginnings. Folks resolve to make changes and start new projects to celebrate the start of a new year. Typically I don't make New Year's Resolutions at all, but this year I've been forced to consider a drastic new path for my YA writing career.

You see, Sapphire Blue Publishing, the publisher of my YA Hell House series, decided rather suddenly to close its doors December 1st. The news came as a shock to all of the authors, especially those of us who'd been with the company since it began in 2008 (like me). The company wasn't in any kind of peril, but there were just things outside of the scope of control of the authors that led to the closure.

I, myself, was devastated. I felt like the proverbial rug had been yanked out from under me. However, the publisher was speedy in returning the writes to us authors for our works, and even threw in the rights to the wonderful cover art as a way to sort of take the sting out of what was happening.

Which left me with a predicament. Do I begin the entire query process again, or should I take the leap into the world of self-publishing? I mean, I had completely edited stories and cover art at my fingertips, so why not?

That being said, I took the plunge and decided I was going to take control of the situation, and put my beloved stories back out there myself. After a crash course in formatting and cover art editing, the first book in the Hell House series, Holiday Hell House, is back up on Amazon and All Romance eBooks. It's definitely more work, and in no way means I'm through with querying publishers, but I am proud to have taken charge of my path and excited to see what new things lie ahead in this new year. Hopefully, I'll be able to get the next two books back up and available soon, and move on with writing even more stories starring this great cast of characters.

Until then, you can purchase Holiday Hell House with a sneak new preview of Fairy Fury at Amazon and All Romance eBooks published by...ME!

And it's only 99 cents!

Have a fabulous New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Calling all YA Authors...

Happy December 26! Are you all as exhausted as I am?  Today in the Jade household we celebrate National Jammie Day. We hang out in our PJ's all day, relaxing, watching movies and playing with our new toys. No company, no cooking and no getting dressed!  It has become one of my favorite days!

With the new year quickly approaching, I thought I'd put a call out to all the YA authors, both established and aspiring. Are you newly contracted or are you working on your very first manuscript? I'd love to hear from you. I'm taking requests for interviews, guest blogs, blurbs, excerpts and cover art. I want to feature you over on...

If you're looking for a place to promote your work in 2012 pop on over and check out my YA blog. And then e-mail me at ellajade818 at gmail dot com and I'll set you up with a date.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Elementary Dear Watson

I watched the second Sherlock Holmes tonight (it is Sunday as I write this post). It was a really great movie, full of action, intrigue, fun visuals, entertaining Holmes deductions. It was exactly what I had hoped for. As my boyfriend and I walked out of the theater we discussed the movie, and then some of the movie posters on the walls, such as the new Underworld movie. As we approached the exit my brain switched gears and I literally stopped and one of those scenes from the movie flashed through my mind. The ones where everything slows down and Holmes suddenly knows the next moves in a fight, both his and his opponents. Except it wasn’t a scene from the movie… it was a novel. The story unfolded just like Holmes’ fights. My boyfriend asked me what was wrong and I started to giggle. I did eventually explain to him why I was laughing maniacally and told him the story I’d envisioned on the ride to Wal Mart where the sales associates were treated to little bits and pieces of my insanity as I laid out my story.

I’m not sure what really triggered this explosion but it has happened to me before. Things unfold much like the scenes from the movie and then I have a novel. Perhaps not as complete as the fights that Sherlock Holmes envisions, but it’s a start. And of course there is plenty of work left to be done before I tackle this project. I’ve been working on how to retell a novel I wrote way back when. By working on, I mean pondering every now and again, not seriously considering, but now I have a plan, and perhaps in six months, after I finish my current round of projects, I’ll start in on this project. Yay for brainstorms.

How do novels unfold to you? All at once or a little at a time? Do you have to tear every bit from the page, or does it all explode into place? For me it’s usually a little of both.

As a side note, apparently “Elementary Dear Watson” never actually appears in the books, but came into usage in one of the movies.

Now for a little pimpage. I recently completed reworking (with tons of help from others naturally) and publishing my Vampire-Hunting Dog stories into a single novella. It’s available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and if you want to know more, you can go to my website.

Doc is a Border Collie who hunts vampires with his human, Kevin. In this adventure they face their first fight and their most dangerous foe. It’s man’s best friend vs. his worst enemy…

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Noble YA Holiday Hop! Meet Lisa Kuehne!

***NEWS FLASH!  Although the Hop ended last night, you have until Wednesday Night to get your answers in!***
Bad Boys Who Inspire. . . .

By: Lisa Kuehne

What girl hasn’t been attracted to a bad boy at least once in her life?

Sometimes once isn’t enough. At least it wasn’t for me. There was something about a bad boy that grabbed my interest. Like a gambler who can’t say no to the game, I thought I could change them. We’ll just say “luck” wasn’t on my side and most likely wasn’t for any other girls they dated either.  

I failed miserably at converting them. But my love for a bad boy hasn’t completely ceased. I love them in the movies and books. And I especially like to write them as characters. Bad boys bring adventure, a challenge, and danger. Maybe that’s why we can’t give them up . . . they make us feel alive.

One question has always lingered in the back of my mind. Are certain guys destined to become bad boys or is there an event in their lives that push them there?

In the True Intentions Trilogy, two main characters each have unique stories to their bad boy origins.

In book one, True Intentions, we meet Samuel Perry. He may not have started off having bad boy blood, but one crucial event at seventeen changed him forever. . . .

In book two, Deadly Intentions, we come face to face with a new bad boy, Drake, who may look like a typical bad boy hottie, but Drake comes with enough evil and danger he makes the devil look like a kitten. If I had any doubt certain guys are destined to be bad boys, Drake makes me reconsider.

My failure to convert the bad boys in my life just left me with a few scars on my heart. In heroin, Ava O’Brian’s case, failure means certain death.

Will luck be on Ava’s side?

 Ava O'Brian is dealing with more than a teenager's typical temptations of right versus wrong. Ava is unaware she possesses a rare and unique gift, a soul with the ability to influence. Unfortunately, Satan will stop at nothing to gain control of her special ability.

Ava's faith is seriously shaken when she is the sole survivor of the car accident that kills her father and twin brother. When she relocates and faces the ultimate temptation in Samuel Perry, her mysterious classmate living on earth since 1798 to tempt and damn mankind, Ava isn't sure she can resist.

Sam must decide if he will lead Ava straight into the devil's trap or place his immortal existence on the line in order to keep her alive.

What ultimate price is Ava willing to pay for love? What if it means giving up her life or turning over her soul straight into Satan's hands for the boy of her dreams?

Buy Links:

Now, you've gotta earn your chance at the prizes, which includes an eBook reader!   Read over the post and think really hard.  Then, answer this question:

What does Drake make the devil look like?
Please send answers to Erika at:
Okay, Readers, keep hopping for more great posts, authors, and PRIZES!
I'm the next hop.  Just click on the link and read about how I learned to Love Fiercely, Wanting Nothing Else!   Kimber An at Ella's Muse
Here are the other Hop Stops, just in case-

Happy (Whatever) Day!

It's the holidays! *throws confetti*

Today marks the official start of the holiday season at my house. Since we travel to my parents' place for Christmas Eve/Day, today is when the hubs and I settle in with the kids and do our holiday thing... or at least start it.

You see, while I can't say we celebrate every holiday, we do try to acknowledge it. Today is our gift exchange day. It's when we sit around in our pajamas and open presents and eat cookies and hang out. In short, it's both the smallest and most relaxed party. Then later in the week, we're going to talk about both Hanukkah and Yule. They'll get their annual does of Christmas when we go to church Christmas Eve with my family. We talk about the differences and the similarities in different faiths. (Please note that each of the pictures used in this post are traditional of one of those three holy days.)

My family sometimes gives me grief because we aren't raising our children in a religion. To that, my argument has always been (and will continue to be) that we have chosen to raise them spiritually with knowledge of many faiths. And the best part is, they want to learn. Religion is this immense font of both fact and mythology that appeals to school-age children at a very basic level. As a parent I have three options: force a particular school of thought on them, give them a taste of many and let them choose what they want to know about, or ignore it entirely.

We went with the middle road. My son is obsessed with ancient religions, whereas my daughter is recently very into God. I'm okay with both of those things because they chose them. If and when my children decide to become people of faith, they will do so with the knowledge and understanding of other religions out there. My hope is it will make them better people all around, less judgmental and more tolerant of others.

So today, my family is celebrating the gift of each other and our right to choose our own path. in the coming days we will discuss the birth of the Sun God, the festival of lights and the birth of the Son of God. And we will promise to let our own inner glow illuminate the world in the new year.

With that in mind, I'd like to wish you a joyous holiday season, whatever you celebrate. Light a candle, say a prayer, sing a carol, hug someone you love. It's a season of joy, and I hope it touches each and every one of you.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Noble YA Holiday Hop Stops Here in the Morning!

Be sure to pop in and find out how to win prizes!   I'm hosting Lisa!  Gorgeous cover art, huh?

Friday News: Kimber An's First Growed-Up Story!

Just signed a contract for my very first adult story, a Short Story (about 3500 words) called Valentine's Day in the Hardware Story Parking Lot. 

It's about a woman who's almost thirty and who has been working very hard all her life at acheiving Happily Ever After, but all her efforts have been a bust.  Then, she takes a risk and seeks out a little old lady who can find the perfect guy for every girl just by looking at his car or truck.  At first, she's told the lady is psychic, a psychic car-reader!  But, she turns out to be something quite different. 
Here I am conducting research for this story a decade and a half and five babies ago with my husband on our engagement day-

My YA girl liked this story a lot, so you all might too, even though the heroine is a decade beyond high school.  She's one of those adults who didn't figure something out that most teens do before they graduate.  This story is for the Sweetheart Line at Noble Romance, so it doesn't have anything in it that would freak out the moms.  I'm hoping it will have wide appeal.
Am I leaving Young Adult?  Heck, no!  This was just for fun.  Short Stories are like yummy little nibbles.
The other funny thing about this story is that it is totally in the Here & Now.  No lightsabers, no invisibility cloaks, and no blood-sucking dead guys.  Weird, huh?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You’re Only As Good As Your Last Page

The other night my wife and I stopped into one of our favorite sushi bars for a little dinner. It’s just a little place, featuring Thai and Japanese cuisine, maybe 12 tables in all, most of them for two; a few for four.

It’s always been a happy place for us, and it’s not just because we love the food. Every time we walk in, the place is warm and inviting, the sushi chef recognizes us and welcomes us in, the wait staff – even if they’re new – is warm and genial and seats us quickly, or lets us pick a table, or… whatever.

It’s a place we go when we need a pick me up, a warm, welcome respite after a bad day or a long day or just… a Tuesday. But the other night, man, it was like someone had sprinkled bad mojo dust all over the place.

For one, a big sign on the front window proclaimed they were closing the next day for the last two weeks of the year. There was no one inside, and my wife literally were like, “We should go.” But then one of the waitresses walked into view, saw us and we were busted, so… in we went.

But the waitress was new, and didn’t say a thing. I was like, “Are you guys open?”

She kind of yawned and said, “Yeah, we’re open.”

Yikes. My wife and I kind of exchanged looks and sat down. It was just… odd. And it never got better. Even when a familiar face or two showed up, like the sushi chef and hostess, they could barely be bothered.

We hurried up and ate and left and on the way out, my wife and I looked at each other and shuddered. Then she said something that’s stuck with me ever since: “Gheez, I’m glad this wasn’t the first time we ever ate there. I’d never go back.”

Okay, so, long story but here’s the payoff: You’re only as good as your last page. Meaning, make it worthwhile. And I’m not just saying the “last page” of your book. I’m talking about the last page someone just read of your book, whether it’s page 5, 15, 50 or 250.

My nightstand currently has about seven different books from three or four different genres; some YA, a few cozy Christmas mysteries, a western, whatever. Half I’ll never pick up again because the last page I read just didn’t inspire me to read any further. I got through the first 15 or 20 pages before I fell asleep, picked it up a second night just to give it another chance, but… that’s about as far as I’m willing to go.

I don’t want to have to “work for it,” you know? Even if it’s a book I spent a lot of money on, or by one of my favorite authors, or a Christmas or YA book I *really* want to get into, there’s a certain point where even I throw in the towel.

So give them something to keep reading. I’m not saying use cliffhangers or gimmicks or “tricks,” per se, but just try to avoid the filler, the long exposes, the stretches that may matter a LOT to you but might bore or even disinterest the reader. Edit carefully and, if necessary, a little ruthlessly.

One thing I really enjoy about writing eBooks is that none of my ePubs have strict word requirements. If it’s too short, they’ll call it a novella, but pretty much if my story is complete at 50,000 or even 40,000 words, we’re both good with it.

That way I’m not looking for ways to add another 30,000- or 40,000-words just to make some mandatory and, frankly, unrealistic word count. It lets me tell a complete story tightly, and allows me to keep things moving fairly briskly.

That helps me keep every page lean and moving in a forward motion so that, hopefully, the last page – and every page in between – is as good as the first!

Yours in YA,


PS: Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

So Many Stories?

Not sure who said it first, but, in reality, there are no new stories.  Only new ways of telling them.  Don’t believe me?  Check this out..
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings over sixty years ago.  Here is Ian McKellen portraying the wise old wizard character, Gandolf.
Notice his striking resemblance to Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter stories?
 And Obi Wan Kenobi of Star Wars fame?
J.K. Rowling and George Lucus weren’t copying anyone.  You can go all the way back thousands of years and find the same wise old character mentoring Jason, Aeneas, and Achilles in Greek Mythology.
Why?  Because, there are no original stories.  Only new ways of telling them.  Why are there no original stories?  (Psst, I love ‘why!’)  Because human beings have certain needs and great stories help fill those needs.  A boy needs a wise man to help him along the path to manhood, to help him discover his strengths, and to become confident in using them.  A boy’s natural instinct is to get into conflicts with his father, like a blade sharpening itself against a stone.  But, a *grandfather* fits the bill.  Sadly, not many boys have a grandfather, or a good grandfather, around to fill this need.  And so we have the wise old mentor character.
If you’re a storyteller wannabe of any kind, check out anything by Joseph Campbell, the dude who wrote extensively on the Monomyth.  George Lucus learned a ton from him and you can really see it in the Star Wars saga.  The Monomyth  is a good place to start.
As for me, I know the heroine from my Ophelia Dawson Chronicles is not the first girl to kick blood-sucking dead guys where it hurts most.
And I know she’s not the first to kiss a vampire either.
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
But, she is the first to addict one to Nintendo DS.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Who let those rockstars into the neighborhood?

I've got nothing writerly this month so have some Christmas lights & Holiday Wishes to slide you into 2012 :)

Monday, December 5, 2011


Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone! Now that it is December (can you believe it? Where did the year go?) I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year! Let’s see what happens to all of us in 2012!

As for me, I am rapidly making my way through my writing list and completing lots of projects that I am excited about. For a while, I was sidelined (well slowed) by a lot of negative energy that I couldn’t seem to remove from my life. But, fortunately that seems to have gone away and as soon as I was free from it—boom—the writing came back.

How about all of you? How do you brainstorm? What keeps your writing from BOOMING?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It Only Takes One Yes!


"It only takes one yes." This is the advice a fellow writer and good friend of mine told me once, and she's right. It does only take one "yes" to make your dreams come true. But its finding that "yes" that's the challenge sometimes. I enjoy hearing stories from other authors sharing how they got their big break, but as much as I enjoy hearing of their success, I just as much enjoy hearing about their failures. No, I'm not cruel and sadistic, although misery does love company, but I believe there is a lot to be learned in those rejections.

Rejection teaches us patience, and perseverance, while developing growth and character. It's easy to quit, easy to give up, but it takes strength and courage to repeatedly put yourself out there, hoping to catch that one "yes". You pray that your work will find its way into the right hands, of the right literary agent or publisher, who's in the right mood, at the right time.

It's taken me almost a year to find the right home for my novel, Until Darkness Comes, tentatively scheduled for release March 21, 2012. To the published, I'd love to hear your experiences breaking into the literary world. To the unpublished, I'd just like to remind you to never give up. It only takes one "yes" :)

Have a great week!

Melynda Price